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Title: The social life of death : mortuary practices in the North-Central Andes, 11th-18th centuries
Author: Martiarena, Laurie M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5367 3348
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2014
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For many societies, the world of the dead reflects the world of the living. Studies of mortuary practices are a fundamental way for scholars to research ancient societies, rituals and belief systems. This thesis examines the transformations in funerary practices in the North-Central Andes from AD 1000 to 1799, a period covering both the Inca and Spanish colonisations. This research demonstrates how historical events, political actions and manipulation can affect the habitus of a society. By studying the ways that people treat their dead, scholars can track changes in the social and cultural practices of ancient groups. This research has a multi-disciplinary approach that combines archaeological and ethnohistorical data. It investigates the ideology related to the use of tombs, within a framework of changing social organisation. By drawing on the existing archaeological and historic reports, a unique database has been created which catalogues the tombs of the Ancash highlands in a systematic way. This includes basic formal descriptions of the tombs and analysis of their variability in order to propose specific time periods for tomb use. Archival work completed in Spain and Peru provided information about what people continued to do, or had changed, in their mortuary practices after the arrival of the Spanish and Catholicism. Archival documentation also provided details about the religious organisation and evangelisation of the region. The results demonstrate that there were no drastic changes in mortuary practices with Inca and Spanish colonialism. This would suggest that, in the Ancash highlands, changes in mortuary practices were not a priority for the Incas, who probably ruled the region indirectly through administrative centres. During Spanish colonisation, data reveals two types of behaviour, a continuity in the use of Prehispanic mortuary customs and an adoption of the new ones. Nevertheless, this dualistic practice is a more complex process, where both groups actively adapted and negotiated their cultural identities over two centuries.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available